Beer News

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5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off at Select Beer

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where they held their 5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off. The annual event has been a fundraiser for the last few years; this year the beneficiary was Providence TrinityCare Hospice. I am not sure if they choose different beneficiaries every year or not.

This year, there were nine participating breweries; Bottle Logic, Yorkshire Square, Cellador Ales, Three Weavers, Riip Beer, Burnin’ Daylight, L.A. Ale Works, King Harbor Brewing, and Firestone Walker’s Propagator.

I am not really sure that I have attended any of the prior events, so I know nothing about the prior competitions other than what I overheard and my understanding is that in previous competitions all the chilies were somewhat similar. This year each chili was quite different from the others. Continue reading

2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from about six local breweries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the libations, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Shady Grow Foods, as well Mediterranean food from Chicken Maison for the vegetarians in attendance.

The adult only event also offered tickets to ride a mechanical bull, or to practice your aiming at the shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available. They also had a spin and win booze wheel, gaming tables featuring blackjack, 3-card poker and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 22 Local Breweries

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4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, Thursday, September 6 at Tortilla Cantina

I hope you saved the date as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will be held this Thursday, September 6, at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance. This event will feature 22 local breweries, with more than 40 taps under one roof; not bad considering the first South Bay Tap Takeover started in 2015 with just 10 South Bay breweries. That should give you an idea of just how much the craft beer scene has grown around here.

The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading

Phantom Carriage Bids Farewell to Ryan and Martin

These photos were taken Friday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where friends and co-workers of Phantom’s co-founder Martin Svab and his girlfriend, Ryan Hughes, gathered to say “until we meet again” to the pair that helped create Phantom Carriage, as Friday was their last official day of handling the day-to-day operations of running the brewpub.

As was announced last week, Martin is relinquishing control of daily operations while retaining his ownership in Phantom Carriage; he will act as a consultant during the transition period.

While Martin and Ryan may be departing from Phantom Carriage, they are not leaving the local craft beer scene, as they plan on continuing putting on events like Festival Obscura, a fundraiser that they put on back in July for Sunnyside Cemetery. Their immediate plans also include owning a bottle shop in Long Beach. Continue reading

Fundraiser for the Briseño Family at Smog City Brewing

These photos were taken Friday afternoon at Smog City Brewing in Torrance, where they held a fundraiser for the family of their Retail Director, Jason Briseño. A couple weeks ago, the family home of more than 30 years was destroyed by a quick moving fire that had started within the walls of the house. With no time to remove items from the house, the Briseños lost virtually everything they owned.

All day Friday, $3.00 from every pint sold went to the fund to help the family rebuild. While I was there, some great homemade cookies were made available for $1.00 each, which also went to the fund. As a side note, those cookies paired amazingly well with Smog City’s Infinite Wishes.

While there, I overheard a conversation between a Smog City regular and Smog City co-founder Laurie Porter. The regular had thanked Laurie and Smog City for putting the event together; Laurie’s response was pretty simple, “Jason is family.” Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming to Tortilla Cantina

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4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover – September 6, 2018

Please save the date, Thursday, September 6, 2018, as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is returning; this year the event will be hosted at Tortilla Cantina, in Torrance.

The first time I put on this event, in 2015, it consisted of 40 taps from 10 of the South Bay’s best craft breweries. This year we have 19 breweries currently confirmed as attending; the number of taps we will have has yet to be determined, but Tortilla Cantina’s owner Rick Gomez informed me that he has the ability to provide up to 50 taps, so we shall see.

The breweries scheduled to attend, in alphabetical order, are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, The Dudes’, The Honest Abe Cidery, Three Weavers, Ximix, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading

Travis and Josh Birthday Party at South Bay Customs

These photos were taken Saturday evening at South Bay Customs in El Segundo, where Travis Lavoie celebrated his 40th birthday, and his friend Josh Linden celebrated his 35th birthday. The birthday party was attended by close to 100 of their friends and family, and featured live music by local band, Pork Chop Express who provided the music for my first experience of live punk/rock karaoke.

Anyone that has been a long-time fan of El Segundo Brewing, and has visited their tasting room, probably either knows, or at least has met Travis. I think I met him there about six years ago when I first started going to El Segundo Brewing. Josh is another local El Segundo guy that I just met last night, but apparently went to El Segundo High the same time my kids did. The party had the feel that the attendees were long time friends, so most of them probably grew up in El Segundo; it was a fun group. Continue reading

Jon Turns 40 Celebration at Propagator and Scopa

I have to admit, becoming “The Craft Beer Guy” has certainly opened up many doors for me, including special events; and I get to meet a lot of interesting people, some of which I have developed friendships with. One of these people is Jonathan Urch, and these photos are from his 40th birthday celebration which began at Firestone Walker’s Propagator and ended down the street at Scopa Italian Roots, where Jon, his wife, and about 25 friends from around the world gathered to celebrate Jon’s 40th time of successfully navigating around the sun with a nice dinner.

I met Jon in October of 2015 at the Guinness Nitro IPA Advanced Tasting and dinner at The Larchmont in Hollywood. At the time, Jon was Diageo Customer Marketing Director. That evening was special in a couple ways; I was able to meet Jon and I was given the first Guinness Nitro IPA ever poured from a tap in the United States. As I have always been a Guinness fan, that was kind of a big deal to me. Continue reading

R. Lee Gunny Ermey Dies at 74

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R. Lee Ermey
March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018

It was announced Sunday that actor R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey, of ‘Full Metal Jacket’ fame, died from complications due to pneumonia. The following statement was issued on Twitter by Ermey’s long time manager, Bill Rogin:

It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.

While this article may not seem beer related, Ermey was a co-owner of Lancaster’s own Bravery Brewing. I first met Ermey at Bravery Brewing in 2015, and my observations of him were that he was approachable and always had a smile on his face; unlike the persona he took on in his film and television roles. Continue reading

Lomita One Step Closer to Two Craft Breweries

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Burnin Daylight Brewing Co. Coming to Lomita

On Monday evening, a couple dozen people attended a City of Lomita Planning Commission meeting, where the topic of discussion was whether or not to allow a brewery to sell their beer on premise, and if so, to determine if Project Barley would be granted a Conditional Use Permit to open a microbrewery with a tasting room on Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita.

If the above paragraph makes you wonder how Project Barley somehow gives Lomita two craft breweries, then you do not follow this site as closely as you should. Last April I wrote that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company was granted their Conditional Use Permit by the Lomita City Council; Burnin’ Daylight had a couple extra hoops to jump through as there were a couple laws that had to be modified to allow them to sell beer to go. Burnin’ Daylight will be a brewpub, which means their rules are a little different, by definition. Project Barley can manufacture beer, but a law needs to be changed to allow them to have a tasting room, and the first steps were crossed this past Monday evening. Continue reading

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